High TimesRichard Prince

The construction of the American
identity at Gagosian.


Richard Prince. Photo: Rob McKeever. Courtesy Gagosian.

Richard Prince has redefined the concepts of authorship, ownership, and aura. Applying his understanding of the complex transactions of representation to the making of art, he evolved a unique signature filled with echoes of other signatures yet that is unquestionably his own. An avid collector and perceptive chronicler of American subcultures and vernaculars and their role in the construction of American identity, he has probed the depths of racism, sexism, and psychosis in mainstream humor; the mythical status of cowboys, bikers, customized cars, and celebrities; and most recently, the push–pull allure of pulp fiction and soft porn, producing such unlikely icons as the highly coveted Nurse paintings.At Gagosian has inaugurated the exhibition “High Times” on Richard Prince and for the occasion Joan Katz wrote this essay:…A bunch of years went by, and as years go by, books have a way of hanging around.High Times calls.


“This is High Times magazine.”

High Times magazine called to ask if Richard wanted to do a cover. Something about an anniversary cover. Twenty-fifth anniversary? He doesn’t remember the exact number. But they wanted to know if he could give them some Hippie Drawings for a July cover. Richard was surprised. How did High Times know about the Hippie Drawings? The hanging-around book.

The only thing Richard knew about High Times was that his friend Glenn O’Brien used to be the editor. “Editor at large.” Glenn coined the term. Richard had never looked at or paged through a copy of the magazine. He wasn’t even aware that it was still being published. “Yeah,” they said. “Bigger than ever. Pot is everywhere. And if it isn’t, it will be.” They wanted to use five different Hippie Drawings and put out five different covers. Richard went with it…

Richard Prince at Gagosian New York “High Times” exhibition
1 November – 15 December 2018